McDonald’s Takes Aim at ToniJack’s as Indonesian Burger Battle Rages On

In the latest round of the long-running dispute between Bambang Rachmadi and McDonald’s, the global burger giant demanded on Monday that the flamboyant businessman shut all of his 13 former McDonald’s franchises in Indonesia, which are now being operated under the name ToniJack’s. But ToniJack’s senior management said Bambang, the local partner of McDonald’s since 1991, no longer had a stake in the outlets, which have replaced the world-famous Golden Arches logo with a multicolored pirate face. McDonald’s claims Bambang is contractually forbidden from opening competing fast-food eateries. “That request is definitely being sent to the wrong address because ToniJack’s is now owned by myself and Suryo Sulisto, not Bambang Rachmadi,” Didit Permana, ToniJack’s president director, told on Monday. “Anyway, burgers are about two pieces of bread with meat in the middle. Our products are totally different.” Didit said Bambang sold all his assets in the business in early September to himself and Suryo, chief commissioner of mining giant PT Bumi Resources. In March, McDonald’s transferred sole franchisee rights and minority stakes in 97 of its outlets in Indonesia to the Sosrodjojo business family, which sparked the dispute with Bambang. ToniJack’s opened on Oct. 1, the same day Bambang’s right to operate his 13 outlets under the McDonald’s brand expired. While the name has changed, the restaurants clearly look the same, as does the food served there. McDonald’s said in a statement received on Monday that it considered Bambang the owner of ToniJack’s and demanded that he abide by their contract. “Mr. Bambang Rachmadi no longer owns any McDonald’s franchises. All of Mr. Rachmadi’s rights to operate McDonald’s restaurants have been terminated due to his persistent and serious breaches of the legal agreements he signed when he became a McDonald’s franchisee,” the statement said. “Those agreements include clauses covering what happens when franchises end, including a non-compete period.” Dian Supolo, McDonald’s marketing director for Indonesia, declined to comment. ToniJack’s continues to operate and is attempting to drum up business by cold-calling McDonald’s customers listed on its former delivery database asking if they want a delivery. The cheapest meal on the ToniJack’s menu, the Jack Chicken One, sells for Rp 15,000 ($1.60). Levita Supit, chairwoman of the Indonesia Franchising and Licensing Society, said she was “baffled” by McDonald’s action, and had believed the dispute had been resolved. “But this case will not affect the prospect of franchising growth here in Indonesia, I think, because such [disputes] very rarely happen."

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